As a white belt in Jiu Jitsu training at 10th Planet Bethlehem for only a handful of months I can honestly say that participating in the open mat that Zach and JM (co-owners and head instructors) hosted this year on Memorial Day was probably one of the best experiences I’ve ever had as I continue my jiu jitsu journey.
I’ve never been to an open mat before this and the experience of it all was absolutely awesome. As a white belt being able to train with people from different schools and pick up on some of their own special techniques is truly awesome. Open mats the way I look at it are essentially a jiu jitsu version of a family reunion. You get to see and train with those extended family members from outside your school/family and be able to catch up on techniques that have become apart of the way you play your jiu jitsu game and everyone leaves a better jiu jitsu artist than what they were at the beginning of the day before the open mat begun. We even had the Gundrum family selling absolutely delicious acai bowls as well as other food.
Memorial Day weekend is always known as a weekend of BBQ’s, spending time with family and friends as well as the time off. For me it has a different meaning, you see, I have lost friends in the military and Memorial Day I try my best to honor those that have fallen and paid the ultimate sacrifice. This year I was able to pay homage by training with jiu jitsu warriors. It was an all around great experience and if you have not checked out 10th Planet Jiu Jitsu/Finishers MMA and you’re thinking of starting jiu jitsu or if you’ve already trained before you will never find a more welcoming and friendly environment anywhere else. Zach and JM have created something that cannot be replicated.
By Jaime Schklowsky, United States Army